how swimming changes your body

How swimming changes your body depends on the different strokes and skills which are used to get the desired results, which include butterfly, breast and freestyle strokes. Body changes are natural during swimming, lower and upper body muscles of the person change quickly during the swimming period.

Swimming as a workout: The choice of taking swimming sections is a gentle and gradual way of keeping fit. It is ideal considering that it has significant advantages on the physical and mental level of a person, notwithstanding the age group and gender. While swimming, you are expected to stretch, reach, curve, and draw your way through the water.

Swimming as a Sport: Training at the gym is an additional routine for the person to ton-up muscle at areas of the body which may take longer to develop during swimming. Those are less targeted areas considering how the person swim and how often the person trains the body.



Swimming gives a full-body change and is one of the most significant forms of workouts. Its combination of cardio, weight training, toning, and strengthening benefits makes a unique for different reasons.

  • Transformed Arms and Shoulders: swimming strokes like a butterfly stroke, breaststroke, backstroke, and front stroke all use the upper arms. For a regular swimmer, the toned shoulder and triceps will start to show from the consistent strokes on the working muscles.
  • Defined Abs: It’s possible for you not to know how swimming changes your body. Doing planks and crunches, you can get tired quickly. In swimming, the core is continuously tightened to stabilize the person’s body in water. With the help of fat-burning, while swimming, defined abs begin to show without doing the regular planks and crunches.
  • Stronger Back: At the gym, the back muscles are sometimes forgotten but start to gain structure while swimming. The V-shape at the back reduces back pain from posture and related issues.
  • Bigger Butt Area: The glute muscles not left out of the changes no matter the stroke the swimmer uses. Both the minor and major muscle of the glutes are affected, giving it a more defined look and bigger booties.
  • Strengthened Legs: The legs just like the arms and shoulder, are the vital part for swimming from the kick work which builds the calves and thighs. The firm kicks make the legs stronger that allows the person to carry out other activities such as walking, running, and biking without allowing the legs to tire quickly as they would have.


It isn’t just a body tone that can be achieved from swimming, other benefits can be received. Swimmers who engage regularly benefits greater flexibility from the different swimming skills/techniques which helps significantly at old age. And the stretching ability has a therapeutic effect that lengthens the muscles.


Swimming is the best cross-training exercise if you are bike race training or running a marathon. The body performance gotten from swimming is just like any other sport activity with the sharpness and activeness.


  1. Butterfly Stroke: As a workout routine, regular use would be stressful on the shoulder muscles. Continuous stress on those muscles will develop too much leading to the more muscular upper body and a lower body with less impact of the person.
  1. Breast Stroke: When working out constant use of the breaststroke, this allows stress on the Hamstrings muscles growing more than average. And people who use this as their primary stroke have a more muscular lower body and average upper body.
  1. Freestyle and Backstroke: It targets the extensor muscle along with the thenar muscles of the hands. The deltoids biceps and triceps are part of the motion, the work together to force both hand and forearm through the water. Works on the upper and lower body.


  • Cardiovascular Strength: Cardio as the name implies in cardiovascular exercise, involves the lungs, heart, and circulatory system. A person’s internal body can be strengthened with the help of a cardio workout routine such as swimming. It has been indicated in 2016 that swimming helps to lower blood sugar and blood pressure level.
  • Low-Impact Workout: Swimming is an Exercise that individuals with an injury such as arthritis and other conditions can stay fit and train without feeling wear or tear on the joint and muscles. Activities such as swimming give a soothing relief in joint pain and stiffness. It also builds fitness and strength as well as helping in recovery.
  • Incomplete Breath: Breath rhythm training allows the swimmer to work on Lungs and respiratory system to follow a certain rhythm, during the sessions the swimmer feels short of breath after a certain period of training.
  • Pregnancy Exercise: Swimming in pregnancy is a good activity performed during the three trimesters which is beneficial to both mother and offspring. It is safe in pregnancy but women with complications are restricted.
  • Torches Calories: Burning calories depends on the type of stroke and your intensity while swimming which can be greater than running. Individual swimming for 10 minutes; 150 calories with the butterfly stroke.

100 calories with front stroke. 80 calories with backstroke. 60 calories with breaststroke.


  • Depression and Stress: Swimming reverses brain damage from stress with a process called hippocampal neurogenesis. If emotional drowning occurs individual diving into the pool can be what the person needs to feel good. Swimming is calm and can be used as a meditative technique by helping the person focus inward which lowers stress and depression naturally.
  • Sharp Thinking: Swimming can make a person smart, confident, and increase self – esteem. Most individual mental issues begin to change during the period when they started swimming as a workout.
  • Social Well-being: An individual becomes more social during swimming training because people of all kinds of age come together for classes and training. A person involved in socialization and exercise improves mental health and has a lower level of anxiety.
  • Sleep Pattern: Swimming in older adults with insomnia changes and boost their quality of life and sleep after routine exercise. It is accessible to a different type of people with issues, making other exercises less appealing like running. It is a good choice for adults because it improves their sleep.
  • Blood: Swimming helps to strengthen the heart making it expand for increase pumping and better circulation of blood in the body. The percentage of women with coronary heart disease is reduced by 35 to 45 percent by engaging in 30 minutes swimming routine a day.
  • Lungs: Swimmers develop wider chests because of the rigorous training and alveoli production in the lungs which moves oxygen between the lungs and blood. More alveoli sacs, an increase in lung capacity in the body. The total lung capacity of an adult is about 5- 6 litres of air depending on gender.
  • Mental Break: Unlike running or jogging, swimming gives the ability to cut yourself from the world and relax like the yoga routine. The regular alertness for cars and bikes as a distraction is absent during swimming.

Some unseen changes occur in the body of an individual with a swimming exercise routine;

  1. The Brain: The extra blood and oxygen that flows in the individual help to be alert, focused, and awake, the brain loves swimming. The moment you enter the water the feeling of the muscles contracting, heart racing, and tightening of the muscle. The body works to achieve three main things
  • Increase Oxygen flow
  • Metabolic Waste Removal
  • Eliminate Heat


  • High-Risk Injury: Swimmers repeat movements that can be detrimental to the joints and tendons of the body resulting in tendinitis. This injury appears the swimming exercise is more than what is expected of the person and it is painful on the joints.
  • Infections: Fungus of the feet is a mycosis and one of the most common types which can be seen in between toes if not properly dried.
  • Allergies: Chemical products used for disinfecting the pool cause skin allergies and eye irritations which irritates the mucous membranes.


Swimming workout accessories are used to enhance body change while swimming, the person uses the training aids to increase the intensity of your workout either as a beginner or seasoned swimmer.

Aqua Mitts

The speedo aqua mitts specially designed to make the exercise a bit hard, add resistance to your swimming workout. They are like gloves on the hand of the individual, swim normal to notice the increased water resistance caused by it. They help tone up the upper body and arms.

Hydro Discs and Aqua Dumbbells

They are designed to be used underwater to help create resistance and they are perfect for upper body strength and toning of your arms. The energy used to keep them underwater helps in the strengthening and toning of the arms because aqua dumbbells are foamlike and fight to stay afloat in particular.

Aqua Belts

Helps for proper balance and helps to stay buoyant during a swimming fitness class. Burns calories effectively and tones up your abs and lower body. The speedo aqua belt is a simple accessory you wear around the waist to help work against the water pressure.


It concentrates mainly on the lower body to strengthen and tone up your legs. Focus on strong kicks to propel your body through the water placing your arms across the board holding the far ends with your fingertips.

Dry Land Exercise Strengthen Body Change in Swimming helps boost stroke power and range of motion to cover more distance dynamically.  6 gym Exercise that improves changes;

  1. Straight Arm Pull-Down: Targets on the biceps, posterior deltoids, rhomboids, latissimi. A strong pull of the bar to your chest then back up under control putting tension on the muscles. 3 x 6 with 2 minutes rest in between.
  2. Triceps Kickback: The pressure is on the posterior deltoids, triceps brachii. The start position is your arm holding the dumbbell up towards the upper part in line with your back with your elbow bent to 90⁰. Straighten your arm out behind and then back. 3 x 10 with 2 minutes rest in between. It’s one of the major workouts on how swimming changes your body.
  3. Hip Extension with Cable: Targeted muscles are hip extensor, hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, pull the cable tired around your ankles stretching your legs 30⁰ to the back. 3 x 10 with rest in between.
  4. Swiss Ball Jackknife: Muscles of the triceps, obliques, transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis are the tension areas. Your body in a press-up position with legs place upon the swiss ball. Pull the ball towards your arm making it fully tucked and back to the start position. 3 x 6 with 2 minutes rest in between.
  5. Cable Rotational Pull: The latissimus dorsi, biceps, internal and external shoulder rotators are target muscles. Kneel beside the pull cable and pull down the handle across your body towards your opposite side hip and return the handle. 3 x 6 on each side with 2 minutes rest in between.
  6. Hip Flexion with Cable: Targets the glutes, hip flexors, hamstrings, quadriceps. With a strap on the cable machine strapped around one ankle and your body weight on the other free leg standing. When you kick your leg straight to the front at 30⁰, then return it to the start position repeat it for 3 x 10 with 2 minutes rest in between.

Muscle Locations on The Body and Different Reasons to choose swimming as a workout

The Latissimus Dorsi Muscle

Known as “lats” is the middle back muscle with a major role in the ability to pull. When you straighten your two hands forward of the lower part of your chest, latissimus dorsi will form at the back. The performance of the muscles starts at the point of diving into the water till your hand is past your chest, it is at this point the pulling ability becomes dominated by your triceps. Pull-ups is a good exercise for this muscle because it helps pinch the shoulder blades together.

The Tricep Muscles

Known as the “tri” the muscle that gives the push to complete a full stroke to the hips. It is located at the back part of the upper arm opposite the biceps used as the final push in the freestyle stroke, backstroke, and butterfly stroke. The exercise for triceps is weight push down your chest to your waist with the help of tricep pulldowns.

Pectoral Muscles

The chest muscle knows as “pecs”; it is the whole part of swimming for the freestyle stroke and breaststroke. Your strokes are stabilized with the help of the pectoral muscles. Bench pressing exercise works perfectly, weight above your chest then slowing bringing it down and chest and back up.

Core Muscles

These are the necessary muscles for the abs; its function is for body stability and complete body positioning in the water. When an individual has a weak or flat core, it causes dragging, inability to hold yourself on top of the water. But with a tight core, you will be efficient in your strokes and propel better through the water.

Quadriceps Muscles

They are commonly known as “quads” found at the front upper part of the legs used for kick and jump. Kicking in freestyle stroke is not seriously relied on, unlike backstroke and butterfly stroke. Is also plays a small role in propelling but is efficient in the starting and turning of the individual in the water.

Questions Frequently Asked; Duration and Effect on how swimming changes your body?

So, for the body change in swimming. It takes about four to six weeks of consistent training and a better eating routine to see the results of your hard work. And as for the eating routine, swimming burns more calories than any other type of exercise. It also varies on the individual starting level and fitness. Additional muscle exercise before swimming can enhance the changes and help ease up the routine.

Expected Changes include a well-toned and less bulky muscle, broad shoulders with defined abs, lats, triceps, and sturdy legs. Body change makes swimming more of a workout, and a massage put together.  It is an excellent exercise for a person who is overweight due to the weight-bearing properties individuals can workout without straining the body. Most people have different body types;

  • Ectomorph: Thin and stretched body and muscle exercise show no effect.
  • Endomorph: Big, high body fat, often pear-shaped, with a high tendency to store fat.
  • Mesomorph: well-structured body with muscles, perfect metabolism and muscle exercise is useful.

The ectomorphs stay lean even after hours of exercise and going to the gym. Endomorphs struggle to change the body. Mesomorphs with ease, build all the muscles for body change.

Changes require motion is swimming adequately and utilizing almost all the muscles in the human body. Furthermore, It requires significant flexibility of both shoulders and ankles mainly.

The more strokes took, the more energy used which makes you tired before your set time. Never try to set an impossible standard for yourself. Make different days for different achievable ways on how swimming changes your body. Make a variety, Days for Endurance, Days for Speed, and Days for general Efficiency.

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Harry Dave

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